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Tuesday29 July 2014

Tory website calls to abolish Arb

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Conservative Home says body is “useless, meddling bureaucracy”

An influential Conservative website has called for the abolition of the Arb.

Conservative Home, owned by former treasurer and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party  Michael Ashcroft, posted an article on its site last week.

It outlined the functions of the Arb and went on to encourage members of the Conservative Party to apply to be lay members of the Arb’s board, which it believes is in the hands of “the left”, as well as calling for it to be abolished.

“There are two vacancies for lay members on the Public Appointments. The pay is £250 a day and the deadline is January 7th…we need Conservatives to apply for Quango posts - otherwise we are just surrendering power to the Left,” it said. “So please do apply. You might have some positive influence.”

In describing Arb’s role the website said: “So the Arb chase after people who call themselves architects - typically these are people who are architects in the sense of that being they do for a living but not in the bureaucratic sense as defined by the Arb. People like Renzo Piano. The Arb carries out this role at a cost of £3 million a year.

“So please do apply. You might have some positive influence.

“An even more positive outcome, however, would be for the government to abolish this useless, meddling bureaucracy.”

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Readers' comments (21)

  • Who wrote that passage?
    'typically these are people who are architects in the sense of that being they do for a living but not in the bureaucratic sense as defined by the Arb'

    Well there you go, no point being qualified anymore if the Tories. Who wants to come and work for Dead Cheap Drawings Ltd?

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  • Useless and meddling, two particularly apt words to describe our Tory overlords.

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  • I think this is typical of where the profession finds itself. ARB is the only protection architects have but this is not the answer. we need to protect what an architect does and maybe even make it possible for the role of the architect and the planning system to come closer. ie Only a registered architect can prepare and submit a planning and building application application. RIBA has failed in its promotion of architects and architecture so that is not the answer either.

    ARB might cost £3m a year but we as architects pay this through our subscription. The tax payer does not contribute any futher.

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  • profession is dying

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  • "...surrendering power to the Left"

    Paranoid, much? What is it about Tories and power?

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  • Michael Ashcroft speaking badly of the ARB? The pot calling the kettle black.

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  • If it is so important for these designers to call themselves Architects then there's a simple solution... sit the exam! To do anything else is to simply admit incompetence in the profession.

    Why is it important to the Tory party to create an environment of unregulated and uneducated people within the construction industry? Will they attempt to devalue the professions of Structural Engineers, Quantity Surveyors and Mechanical and Electrical Engineers next?

    Architects do so much more than the initial design of a building or space. These designers are very limited in their skills. This is the difference that the public simply don't understand or have absolutely no knowledge of.

    If you want the prestige of the label Architect then earn it by becoming qualified otherwise be content with the title designer. Don't confuse the two. My wife and 14 month old son can draw buildings but they don't see the need to call themselves Architects.

    As a client, if you want to hire an Architect and have the prestige of having someone qualified carry out your design to a successful conclusion then hire an Architect otherwise hire a designer and let the problems begin.

    The title is there to protect the consumer therefore the title itself must be protected. Anyone suggesting that the protection should be abolished or side-stepped is simply offering to put consumers at risk. A very strange approach to an electoral campaign!

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  • I have heard the ARB accused of many things, but I never knew it was a nest of Communist infiltrators. I'll have to cancel my subscription immediately.
    I trust these clowns will be consistent and look forward with interest to the deregulation of the medical profession.

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  • Mike Duriez

    The problem here is that regulation of title is a waste of time. No potential client out there understands the difference between architectural consultants (unprotected) and consultant architects (protected). Or for that matter the regulatory differences between Richard Rogers (of Riverside) (ARB registered) and Renzo Piano (non-arb registered).

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  • It's an interesting article - I've personally never perceived the ARB as being aligned politically in any direction, its role is being as objective as possible when protecting the title architect/maintaining an annual register of legally qualified architects and in assessing client complaints about the service and conduct received from an architect. These strike me as worthwhile activities in the round and beneficial, rather than detrimental to the profession and planning policy. I struggle to see how anyone without the training, practical experience gained from practicing as an architect and genuine interest and knowledge of architecture as a subject could realistically take on projects of complexity and scale. Ultimately this could add burden to the planning system, rather than lighten it.

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